The Dude of Life (aka DOL or DoL) is Steve Pollak (not Steve Volato -- that's a false rumor; not Tom Marshall -- that's a confuson of guest appearances; and not Jim Pollock, the artist, who is, by the way, not related to Steve.)
He shows up irregularly, infrequently, and (as far as we can tell) randomly, but consistently in odd attire for silly songs. October 25, 1994, Elektra released The Dude's first CD, Crimes of the Mind, recorded with Phish in August 1991 and named for the song he most often (five times) performed with Phish (disc review). Other songs he's performed with Phish include "Dahlia" (often incorrectly listed as "Done Me Wrong", e.g. on 9-13-90); in rubber mask throwing rubber chickens and pushing a lawn mower singing Diamond Girl (Seals Crofts tune) on 12-31-92; performed "TV Show", "Family Picture", and "Crimes of the Mind" (all his originals) at 11-8-91; and pushed a lawnmower on stage at 12-31-92 to perform Seals and Crofts' "Diamond Girl". Steve also wrote the lyrics to "Dinner and a Movie", "Fluffhead", "Slave to the Traffic Light", and "Suzy Greenberg". (Carl Gerhard wrote the horn parts for "Suzy".) Many of the songs Crimes of the Mind (as well as a handful of Phish originals) were debuted 9-13-90.
From: Shelly Culbertson (Press Release from DoL Jan/Feb 94 World Tour):
For over a decade and a half, the Dude of Life has been writing songs in the tradition of The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, T-Rex and Iggy Pop. In his ongoing collaboration with Phish, he has contributed the lyrics to such classics as Dinner and a Movie, Suzie Greenberg and Fluffhead, and he occasionally appears with the band in various disguises which involve the use of tools ranging from lawnmowers to rubber chickens. The Dude's tour will feature songs from his recently recorded project with Phish, Crimes of the Mind, to be released in the fall by Elektra. He lives in New York City. Supporting the Dude on drums will be Jon Fishman. [Note: Jon only played drums on The Dude's first tour.] Jon has been playing drums with Phish for the past ten years as well as appearing with the Johnny B. Fishman jazz quartet. A native of Syracuse, New York, Jon now lives in a dome in Vermont with a habitrail full of wild mice.
Dan Archer, who plays guitar with the band, is the proprietor and engineer of Archer studios in Vermont. With past appearances with Pork Tornado and with J. Willis Pratt to his credit, Dan says, "When the Dude calls, duty calls!" Aaron Hersey, on bass, is a veteran of numerous New England rock'n'roll, jazz, reggae, country and soul reviews, such as Big Bass In Your Face, The Fleshspoids, The Martin Guigui Band, and Stanley Reamer and the Non-Dairy Creamers. A fabulous personality and a charming host, his vim and vigor have wowed audiences
Phil Abair, keyboards, has been in the music business nearly twenty years as a performer, composer, and studio musician. He has performed as vocalist, keyboard player, bassist and guitarist in groups throughout New England including The Abair Brothers Band, High Rollers, The Showstoppers, and Shattered, a Rolling Stones review that appeared widely in the Northeast for over five years.
Update 9/29/99: The Dude recently released his second solo album, "Under the Sound Umbrella." The album features Trey, Jon, and Mike, as well as the members of his new band, the Great Red Shark. As with "Crimes of the Mind," "Sound Umbrella" was produced by Dan Archer. The Dude is currently touring in the Northeast in the fall of 99, and will continue his musical journey into the next millenium
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